Transplantation of untreated F344 rat bone marrow into irradiated B10 mouse recipients (non-TCD F344----B10) to produce fully xenogeneic chimeras resulted in stable xenogeneic lymphoid chimerism, ranging from 82% to 97% rat. Survival of animals was excellent, without evidence for GVH disease. The specificity of tolerance which resulted was highly donor-specific; MHC disparate third party mouse and rat skin grafts were promptly rejected while donor-specific F344 grafts were significantly prolonged (MST greater than 130 days). Multi-lineage rat stem cell-derived progeny including lymphoid cells (T- and B-lymphocytes), myeloid cells, erythrocytes, platelets, and natural killer (NK) cells were present in the fully xenogenic chimeras up to 7 months after bone marrow transplantation. Immature rat T-lymphocytes matured and acquired the alpha/beta T-cell receptor in the thymus of chimeras in a pattern similar to normal rat controls, suggesting that immature T-lymphocytes of rat origin could interact with the murine xenogeneic thymic stroma to undergo normal maturation and differentiation. This model may be useful to study the mechanisms responsible for the induction and maintenance of donor-specific transplantation tolerance across a species barrier.

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